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Royal disgust over racism

Published:  |  Modified:

Johor prince Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim , in his latest Instagram posting, has expressed revulsion for ethnic bigotry.

"It's disgusting. Racism and its hateful language have no place in this community," said the Johor sultan's third child said in a posting last night.

The prince also put up a comment beneath: "I have Malay, Chinese, and English blood running thru my veins. #BangsaJohor"

The message, which has garnered more than 3,000 likes, is not the only one he posted on the subject.

Just hours earlier, Tunku Idris re-posted a hadith (saying attributed to Prophet Muhammad) put up by his mother Raja Zarith Sofiah, showing the Prophet's abhorrence of cruel treatment of Muslims towards others of different faiths.

"Among the Sunnah or the Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (May Peace Be Upon Him) is the following warning : "Beware! Whoever is cruel towards a zimmi (a non-Muslim who lives in an Islamic country), who is spiteful towards him/her, or burdens him/her with more than he/she can bear, or takes anything from him/her against his/her free will, I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against that person in the Afterlife."

Tunku Idris also posted on the same subject two days ago, which said, "Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and destroy."

While none of the posts by Tunku Idris or Raja Zarith Sofiah made any reference to the 'Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu', organised by the National Silat Federation (Pesaka), on Malaysia Day, the timing of these posts coincided with ill feeling and threats against DAP and the Chinese, whipped up by the red shirts.

Pitched as a counter-rally to the mammoth Bersih 4 gathering on Aug 29 and 30, the red shirt rally had the blessings from DBKL to be held at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur.

It was generally free of violence, save for the little fracas at the end when a few hundred protesters insisted on making their way into the Chinese-dominated Petaling Street and the Federal Reserve Unit's water cannons were used.

The day's event, however, was marred by charges of racism, not only on the provocative banners and placards against the Chinese and DAP carried by Malay protesters, but also in the speeches from the stage. Those who attended include Umno ministers Ahmad Maslan and Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Rally-goers also used abusive words against the Chinese ethnic group, with some targetting non-Malay journalists, an act condemned by journalist group Gerakan Media Marah (Geramm).

Various members of the Johor royal house have been speaking up on current issues in the past year.

The most vocal is Tunku Idris' eldest brother, crown prince Tunku Ismail, who has crossed swords with ministers and is critical of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's leadership.

Previously, Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Iskandar also warned that he would not tolerate racism and called on authorities not to be soft on offenders.

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